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03-15-2012, 11:45 AM   #1
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k-x photos not sharp

I may have missed something when I checked the associated posts for this problem, but I have run into a small glitch with my k-x. I had to take some photos at work and feel that the results were not as crisp as I thought they should be. These were handheld in full Auto mode, with SR on, both with and without flash, and in the highest resolution setting, using the kit lens. I have seen posts regarding camera adjustments for various lenses, as well as focusing adjustments and wondered it the applied to the k-x model. I don't have the original photos with me ATT, but the just don't seem to be as crisp as those taken with my old ist-dl before it died. Secondly, I have both a 55mm DA and DAL lens, and would like opinions on which is the better, but was using the DA for the shots in question.
Any thoughts, hints, or remarks will be welcomed.

Thanks,
John

03-15-2012, 11:52 AM   #2
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The K-x let's you zoom to more than 100% in playback mode, so that's probably why you're getting that impression. Post up some samples when you get a chance and we'll take a look
03-15-2012, 11:56 AM   #3
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And if you shot them RAW they will need sharpening anyway.
03-15-2012, 12:02 PM   #4
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Firstly... try turning your SR off. It takes a couple of seconds to settle and tends to ruin
a lot of shots. Its better used for slower single shot consideration and can be efective.
Secondly... the autofucus points are very large and covers an area far greater than the little red autofocus comformation square. So instead of trying, lets say, focussing on the eye.... pick a bigger focus spot.. IE the face.
I think you will find this will help considerably.

03-15-2012, 01:34 PM   #5
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You compare a 6mp to a 12mp camera, try looking the k-x images not at 100%. aps-c cameras anyway roughly reach 5mp TRUE resolution. they just use the extra pixels for interpolations, better rendering etc
03-15-2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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It depends which DA18-55 you have, there are 3 versions. The DA18-55 original model is the one that has a different optical formula from the 18-55 II, the 18-55 WR, AND from the DAL18-55. The latter three have the same optical formula and the main difference between those three is that the II and WR have quick shift and metal mount.
03-15-2012, 04:00 PM   #7
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The K-x with the kit DAL 18-55 is capable of taking very crisp, sharp shots. Flickr and these forums are full of sharp K-x images mostly using that combo.

The enemies of sharpness are legion, but include motion blur caused by camera or subject movement, missed focus, and lens quality.

To improve your results, a few suggestions:

- don't use a UV or protection filter on your lens at all - many are garbage and can turn your images into mush and impede correct AF function. Use the supplied hood instead;

- choose a tighter AF cluster than the default Auto 11. Use Auto 5 or Spot AF (p-117 of the K-x manual) in order to get more control over what the camera may choose to focus on;

- make sure your Custom Image settings are set to something like Natural or Bright (the default), with default settings for sharpening;

- this may sound obvious but make sure you are choosing the right shutter speed settings for the scene. Usually P mode or the other auto modes get it right but if in doubt go to Tv mode and set a decent shutter speed yourself. People shots in particular can be demanding;

- set the Auto ISO range in the K-x to allow a decent maximum ISO - eg at least 1600 ISO, or even experiment with higher ISO's. Bumping up the ISO ceiling may allow the K-x to make some better decisions about what shutter speed and aperture it can use in some of the auto modes. The K-x has considerably more ISO headroom than the istDL, without any major image quality penalty until you get over 1600 ISO.

While you can hack the K-x to allow AF fine tuning via debug mode, I wouldn't bother with that.
03-15-2012, 04:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jselph Quote
ust don't seem to be as crisp as those taken with my old ist-dl before it died.
John, going from 6MP to 12MP is just as challenging as going from 12MP to 24MP. You'll have to learn a couple new lessons if you want better resolution as you got from your 6MP camera. If however, 6MP were fully ok with you (and it will in 90% of use cases), just avoid judging image quality from looking at 100% 1:1 crops. Rather, sample down to 6MP or look at 1:2 views.

Nikon FF users face a similiar problem when upgrading from the 12MP D700 to the 36MP D800 now. Nikon prepared a guide of things to consider in your photography the. It may be a recommended read for you too. It is here:
-> http://www.nikonusa.com/en_US/o/Y6wrkA9OU_z04IreazIXl_22UII/PDF/D800_TechnicalGuide_En.pdf

03-15-2012, 04:56 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
John, going from 6MP to 12MP is just as challenging as going from 12MP to 24MP. You'll have to learn a couple new lessons if you want better resolution as you got from your 6MP camera. If however, 6MP were fully ok with you (and it will in 90% of use cases), just avoid judging image quality from looking at 100% 1:1 crops. Rather, sample down to 6MP or look at 1:2 views.

Nikon FF users face a similiar problem when upgrading from the 12MP D700 to the 36MP D800 now. Nikon prepared a guide of things to consider in your photography the. It may be a recommended read for you too. It is here:
-> http://www.nikonusa.com/en_US/o/Y6wrkA9OU_z04IreazIXl_22UII/PDF/D800_TechnicalGuide_En.pdf
Thanks for the link. I knew there was something useful about Nikon.
03-16-2012, 09:18 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies. I managed to try a couple of test shots this morning with the SR off and the images improved dramatically. Hopefully I'll have some time this weekend to play around a little more and check some of the other recommendations. I do want to experiment with the focusing options and see which one performs better for my style of shooting. Right now I have it set to the center spot which is the narrower point of focus. I also noticed in another thread the conversations regarding "protective" filters, and I have Skylight or UV filters on all of my lenses. I may try some shots with and without the filter to see the results. I have to shoot some jewelry for a friend of mine and am trying to get the best image possible since he wants to publish them on his web site. I like to use thumbnail images on websites with a link to a larger image, so I definately want the best quality possible before I go reducing the size.
I'll post my findings and see where to go from there.
Thanks again,
John
03-16-2012, 09:41 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by westmill Quote
Firstly... try turning your SR off. It takes a couple of seconds to settle and tends to ruin
a lot of shots. Its better used for slower single shot consideration and can be efective.
Secondly... the autofucus points are very large and covers an area far greater than the little red autofocus comformation square. So instead of trying, lets say, focussing on the eye.... pick a bigger focus spot.. IE the face.
I think you will find this will help considerably.
Interesting tip...I never realized SR sometimes messed up shots as well. I always thought it would only be an advantage. This should be a good experiment when I get home today.
03-16-2012, 09:45 AM   #12
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There's no way SR is responsible. I have a K-x, K20D and K100DS. I only disable SR when using a tripod, as prescribed by Pentax. When I have a bad photo, there's always a reason (usually low shutter speed, sometimes missed focus). OP should post some of his soft photos for an accurate diagnosis.
03-16-2012, 01:54 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
There's no way SR is responsible. I have a K-x, K20D and K100DS. I only disable SR when using a tripod, as prescribed by Pentax. When I have a bad photo, there's always a reason (usually low shutter speed, sometimes missed focus). OP should post some of his soft photos for an accurate diagnosis.
SR actualy takes a couple of seconds to settle. If you take photos in quick succession it will affect your next pic even with a fast shutter speed.
03-16-2012, 02:45 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by westmill Quote
SR actualy takes a couple of seconds to settle. If you take photos in quick succession it will affect your next pic even with a fast shutter speed.
Not true. It takes a fraction of a second to set up for the first photo. If you take the photo before SR is set, the only effect is that you've taken a photo without SR. If you are shooting in burst mode, it takes part of a second to set SR, the next photos do not require SR to set up because it's already established.

Sensor motion starts with the shutter action and stops before the exposure starts. It stays active for a short time after the photo (a longer time for the K-5). That's why it's ready for the next shot in burst mode. Here's the patent that explains it:
Application # 2008/0226276. ANTI-SHAKE APPARATUS - Patents.com
03-16-2012, 02:51 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Not true. It takes a fraction of a second to set up for the first photo. If you take the photo before SR is set, the only effect is that you've taken a photo without SR. If you are shooting in burst mode, it takes part of a second to set SR, the next photos do not require SR to set up because it's already established.

Sensor motion starts with the shutter action and stops before the exposure starts. It stays active for a short time after the photo (a longer time for the K-5). That's why it's ready for the next shot in burst mode. Here's the patent that explains it:
Application # 2008/0226276. ANTI-SHAKE APPARATUS - Patents.com
Sorry... I assumed it would work the same as on the K5.
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